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home : city news : city news May 22, 2015 




Budget Crunch at Legislative Breakfast
Civic, school and business leaders attending the Evanston Chamber of Commerce’s annual legislative breakfast heard their representatives lament the state’s economic woes. Almost equally, it seemed, the legislators deplored Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget and “turnaround agenda,” called by many of its opponents an anti-union agenda. On May 5, the Rules Committee of the City Council unanimously rejected the governor’s proposal. 
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Harley Clarke Committee Presents Five Options for Mansion's Future
There were more people than chairs at the May 18 public presentation of options for the Harley Clarke mansion, 2603 Sheridan Road, as a crowd of about 150 found standing room in the Civic Center’s Parasol Room. The City-owned mansion, coach house, parkland and lakefront property, home to the Evanston Art Center for more than 40 years, could be shuttered in June, when the Art Center relocates to its new home at 1717 Central St.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Return Engagement for Howard Street Theater Dream
Efforts to woo a theater group to Howard Street revived on May 11, with City Council voting unanimously to issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) seeking a viable performing arts partner for the 700 block of Howard. The initiative comes after two theater groups proved unable to provide the financial stability and wherewithal necessary in the City’s eyes.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Façade Improvement Program Expands
A City economic development initiative under which businesses may obtain grants from the City to improve their street-facing façades will soon expand to include grants for interior as well as exterior renovations. Under the revised program, businesses will be able to obtain up to $50,000 in matching grant money for the renovation of business space provided they meet the City's qualifying standards.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Valli Produce Plans Proceed Apace
The new grocery store replacing shuttered Dominick’s at Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue, Valli Produce, will be open as early as July, said Valli representatives Frank Greco and Carmen Presta. Mr. Greco made the announcement at the May 11 Administration and Public Works Committee in connection with Valli’s application for a liquor license (introduced unanimously without debate).
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Council Approves $5 Million Line of Credit For Forgivable TIF Loans
Initial development projects in the City’s newest tax-increment financing (TIF) districts – Main/Chicago and Dempster/Dodge – will be covered by a nearly $5 million line of credit through First Bank & Trust of Evanston.  The City plans to draw on this line of credit to make loans for construction projects in these TIFs.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Powdered Alcohol Banned in Illinois
Continuing efforts to keep dangerous products away from our youth, state Rep. Laura Fine, helped pass legislation last week prohibiting the sale of powdered alcohol in Illinois.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Sign Up for EPL Summer Reading Program
Evanston Public Library's 2015 Summer Reading Program, "Read to the Rhythm," will run from June 1 through July 31.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Divvy Bike Program to Expand
The City of Evanston is pleased to have received confirmation that Divvy bikes will be ordered in the fall of 2015 in order for the Bike Sharing Program to be in place in spring 2016.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Options for Harley Clarke Mansion
Presenters are lined up for the public presentation on options for the Harley Clarke mansion, scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 18 in the Parasol Room at the Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Senator Biss Letter About the State's Budget
In light of both the importance and severity of the issue, I thought I'd take the opportunity to outline some of the key aspects of the budget, how we got here, and where we might end up
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Monday, May 11, 2015
Committee Rejects Governor's 'Wrongheaded' Turnaround Agenda
Speakers during the citizen comment portion of the May 4 Rules Committee meeting called Governor Bruce Rauner’s “turnaround agenda” many things, none of them positive.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
City Prepares for Hits from State
The City presented its first-quarter figures at the April 27 City Council meeting. “We’re doing fine for the first quarter,” City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz told the Council members.  He added that he and Assistant City Manager/Treasurer Marty Lyons “are both very concerned that we need to take steps today” to prepare for possible actions from the Illinois General Assembly that would affect City finances.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Harley Clarke Committee Prepares Five Options for Consideration
As the Harley Clarke Mansion Committee winds down, members will be preparing for the May 18 community meeting, at which it will present five options:  demolition of the mansion and restoration of the grounds; renovation of the mansion under City ownership; use as a commercial space, such as a boutique hotel; sale to a private developer for a permitted R-1 use; and stewardship of the building by a private or public entity, which would own the building as a gift from the City.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
S.A.F.E. Nears Conclusion of Animal Shelter Journey
The contentious process that followed a cry for change at the City's animal shelter neared conclusion on May 4, as the six-member Human Services Committee voted unanimously to officially turn over shelter operations to Saving Animals for Evanston (S.A.F.E.).
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Groundbreaking for Chicago/Main Complex
Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, third from left, and Third Ward Alderman Melissa Wynne, second from left, joined representatives of Riverside Investment and Development on April 23 for a groundbreaking for the mixed-use development at Chicago Avenue and Main Street.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
City of Evanston Launches Pesticide-Free Parks Pilot Program
The City of Evanston will launch its first pesticide-free parks pilot program with Adopt-a-Park partner and local business, Greenwise Organic Lawn Care. Five Evanston parks will be maintained without the use of pesticides during the one-year program: Ackerman (Central St. & McDaniel), Burnham Shores (between Dempster  & Hamilton), Eiden, (Sherman & Custer) Perry (1741 Hovland Ct.) and Trahan (Ridge & Monroe).
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Taco Diablo, LuLu's Groundbreaking
 On May 1, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl joined co-owners Marty Cless, Dan Kelch, and Laura VanDorf at a groundbreaking ceremony for Taco Diablo, LuLu’s and Five & Dime, at 1026 Davis Street.   
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Council Bytes: Highlights From the April 27 City Council Meeting
The evening that began with a celebration and continued with awards ended with aldermen wishing Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl “Happy Birthday.” In between, aldermen approved bills, purchases, appointments, the 1620 Central St. development and all the liquor licenses introduced at the previous meeting.  
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Brian Miller Is Named New Ninth Ward Alderman
Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl has appointed Brian Miller as alderman of the Ninth Ward, to fill the vacancy left by Coleen Burrus.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
"Evanston Own It" Proclamation Aims to Reclaim Communities from Youth Violence
Evanston faith leaders and City officials encourage residents to claim ownership of their home, block and community by adhering  to the “Evanston Own It” proclamation
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Police Warn of Scam About Phony Basketball Tournament
The Evanston Police Department cautions residents about a door-to-door scam involving a purported memorial basketball tournament at Robert Crown Center.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Another Battle Against Hunger Won in a SNAP
The Illinois Senate voted recently by a vote of 34-17 to increase access to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).
Monday, April 27, 2015
Rep. Fine Passes Legislation to Expand Newborn Screening
To help doctors and parents identify a potentially life threatening illness while treatment is still possible, state Rep. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, recently passed a measure expanding newborn screenings to include Adrenoleukodystrophy, commonly known as ALD.
Monday, April 27, 2015
Suspicious Incidents Involving Contact with Juveniles
The Evanston Police Department is currently investigating two separate reports of suspicious incidents involving contact with juveniles.
Monday, April 27, 2015
City Counterclaims Against Nicor
The City of Evanston followed through on its official threat to sue Nicor Gas and ComEd for natural gas trapped under James Park and surrounding areas. The action came in the form of a counterclaim filed Feb. 2 in response to Nicor’s lawsuit against the City. The Nicor suit sought a judicial declaration that the trapped gas was not Nicor’s responsibility.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Decline of City's Affordable Housing Expected to Continue
The amount of affordable housing in Evanston has steadily declined in the last decade, making it difficult for low- and moderate-income households to locate here. In addition, 86% of the low- and moderate income households who currently reside here are paying more in housing costs than is viewed as being sustainable.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015



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